by Myra Saturen; photo by Randy Monceaux
May 01, 2012
If one path to your dream is blocked, find another route. Mostafa Elkohil, an automotive technology major at Northampton Community College, knew from an early age that he wanted to become a mechanical engineer. But the educational system of his native Egypt assigned him as a communications major instead. Set on pursuing his true ambition, Elkohil attended Cairo Community College as a full-time communications major, while learning about automotive technology by simultaneously working full-time as a technician at a car dealership. He came to NCC as an automotive technology major via a U.S. Department of State Community College Initiative Program.
Elkohil's talents, hard work and determination were recognized when he was chosen to receive a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship and a Hites Foundation Scholarship. He is the first NCC student ever to win the Cooke award, which was given to only 60 students across the United States this year, chosen out of 786 applicants. The scholarship provides up to $30,000 per year and is intended to cover a significant share of recipients' educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, books, and required fees. The Hites Scholarship is given by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for students at two-year colleges.
At NCC, Elkohil has exceled in academics, leadership and community service. He has participated in NCC's College Life Committee, the International Student Organization and the East 40 Project to construct a community garden. He revived the College's cycling club, which helps international students gain access to bicycles so that they can get around more easily, and was its president. In the larger community, he volunteered at the Children's Home of Easton and the Lehigh Valley Food Bank.
He has received many honors, including the 2012 All-Pennsylvania Academic Team, a certificate of recognition from the NCC Leadership Institute, graduation from the NCC Student Leadership class, a listing in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and inclusion in the NCC Dean's List.
Elkohil's ultimate goal is to design and manufacture energy-efficient, powerful and durable vehicles, primarily for Egyptians who cannot afford them now. "I have a passion for improving the quality of life for working-class citizens," he says. He strives to engineer and design the first Egyptian-made line of automobiles. To accomplish this aim, Elkohil plans to continue his undergraduate education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and to eventually earn master's and doctorate degrees.
"I have learned from Northampton Community College that nothing is impossible," he says. "We just need to set up our goal and work hard toward it." He expresses appreciation for the support of his family and his professors.
Read more about Mostafa Elkohil in this Express-Times article.
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